Groundwater Geophysics in Hard Rock: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Groundwater Geophysics in Hard Rock

1st Edition

By Prabhat Chandra Chandra

CRC Press

366 pages

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pub: 2015-10-19
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In hard rock terrain, shallow water wells generally have a poor to moderate yield. Sinking wells deeply to tap yielding fracture zones often backfires, because the borehole may miss the saturated fracture zones at depths. A wrong approach to groundwater exploration in hard rock has therefore often led to unnecessary recurring expenditures and waste of time, something that could have been avoided by a systematic and proper geophysical approach. The combination of various geophysical techniques with environmental conditions is essential to constrain the interpretation and reduce uncertainties in this respect. This book presents the approach to groundwater exploration in hard rocks, various geophysical techniques and combinations to be used, interpretation of data with case studies and drilling results and the preparation of different utility maps.


Geophysics is about physics of the earth, its physical property variations and their response to induced perturbation giving a comprehensive insight into sub-surface hydrogeological conditions. I have rarely come across such a masterly treatment of the subject, so comprehensive, and penned in such a lucid language and student friendly style as in the book under review. The author P.C. Chandra, an eminent hydro-geophysicist, formerly Regional Director of Central Ground Water Board, has spent a major part of his career in the hard rock terrains of peninsular states and eastern India, namely the basement complex and Deccan traps. He has distilled his knowledge and experience gained in his more than three decades of field surveys in the pages of this book and enriched it with his priceless case studies. There are very few professionals in the country like Chandra who after superannuation from government service return to the academia prompted by sheer love of science and an urge to transmit the acquired knowledge to the young scientists, and ignite their inquisitive minds.

Almost all aspects of hard rock hydro-geophysics from the perspectives of this subcontinent have been succinctly dealt with in the book. The author has also not forgotten to add a brief section on future scope of research in this field. Neat illustrations, valuable data tables, reference lists with each chapter for future study and error free quality printing mark the book as a ‘must read’ Manual for all, – graduate and post-graduate students, research scholars, teachers, and practicing groundwater geologists and geophysicists alike. I have no doubt that it will be a treasured keep in the Reference Libraries of Universities and Institutes teaching and practicing hydrogeology and geophysics. Truly the book is a masterpiece, a stellar contribution of P.C. Chandra to geoscience education. It is a tribute to his four decade long dedicated pursuit of geophysics.

Subhajyoti Das, Geological Society of India vol. 88 (August 2016)

"This work is one of several recently published textbooks on the important topic of geophysics for groundwater studies. As the title states, this particular text focuses almost exclusively on hard rock aquifers, which include the weathered zone, and mostly excludes soft rock terrains typified by carbonates and sulfates. Surface geophysical methods emphasized in this textbook include individual chapters that address the magnetic, resistivity, self-potential, mise-a-la-masse, and electromagnetic techniques. Borehole geophysical methods are relegated to one chapter that covers typical methods, such as spontaneous potential, gamma, caliper, and neutron techniques. An important aspect of the textbook is the discussion on planning geophysical investigations; the reviewer believes this should have further emphasized the importance of geological studies prior to initiating a geophysical investigation (to better target the geophysical investigation and the integration of a geophysical survey) because application of a single technique is rarely adequate. The limited use of mathematics, the basic discussion of geophysical methods, and the very brief case history discussions make for a reasonably good introductory text on the importance of geophysical investigations for groundwater investigations in hard rock terrains.

Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals"

M. S. Field, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 'Choice', January 2017 issue

Table of Contents

1 Groundwater issues in hard rock & geophysics

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Trends in groundwater utilization

1.3 Necessity of managed aquifer recharge

1.4 Groundwater quality issues

1.5 Problems in groundwater development

1.6 Need for systematic investigation

1.7 Scope and essentiality of geophysical input

1.8 Geophysical deliverables

1.9 Prerequisite technical field-guidance

1.10 Interdisciplinary convergence

1.11 Cost-effectiveness vs technological development

2 Introduction to the hydrogeology of hard rock

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Weathered zone and fractures

2.3 Groundwater occurrences

2.3.1 Weathered zone aquifers in granitic terrain

2.3.2 Fractured zone aquifers in granitic terrain Deeper fractured aquifers

2.3.3 Aquifers in metasediments

2.3.4 Aquifers in quartz reefs and dykes

2.3.5 Volcanic rock aquifers

2.4 Groundwater development

2.5 Groundwater quality

3 Introduction to geophysical investigations in hard rock

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Geophysical methods and physical property measurements

3.3 Applications of geophysical methods

3.3.1 Airborne geophysics

3.3.2 Surface geophysics

3.3.3 Borehole geophysics

3.4 Integration of methods

4 Planning of geophysical surveys

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Modeling geophysical response

4.3 Types of survey and coverage

4.4 Selection of method and equipment

4.5 Planning for field survey

4.5.1 General considerations for equipment

4.5.2 Access to the area

4.5.3 Area details and compilation of data

4.5.4 Survey parameter design

4.5.5 Surveying work for profile layout

4.6 Geophysical team size and responsibilities

4.7 Survey cost and time

4.8 Safety and precautions in field operations

4.9 Quality control

4.10 Deliverables

5 The magnetic method

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Basics

5.3 Instrument

5.4 Field procedures

5.4.1 Total magnetic field intensity measurement Correction of data

5.4.2 Magnetic susceptibility measurement during field survey

5.5 Processing of data

5.5.1 Regional-residual anomaly separation

5.5.2 Reduction to pole

5.6 Interpretation

5.6.1 Estimation of depth to magnetic source

5.7 Identification of fractured zone

5.8 Aeromagnetics

5.8.1 Case studies

6 The electrical resistivity method

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Ranges of electrical resistivity in hard rock

6.3 Basics

6.4 Vertical electrical sounding

6.4.1 Electrode arrays

6.4.2 Depth of investigation

6.5 Resistivity profiling

6.5.1 Gradient array resistivity profiling

6.6 Resistivity imaging

6.7 Electrode arrays for investigating fracture/structure-induced anisotropy

6.8 Site selection in hard rock areas

6.9 Instrument and field accessories

6.10 Field layout, operation and data acquisition

6.10.1 Checks in field operations

6.11 Processing of data

6.12 Interpretation

6.12.1 Manual interpretation of vertical electrical sounding curve for layered-earth Curve matching technique Inverse slope method

6.12.2 Interpretation of sounding curve for bedrock depth

6.12.3 Interpretation of sounding curve for fracture detection

6.12.4 Detecting fractures from sounding curve by empirical methods Curve-break method Factor method

6.12.5 Computer based interpretations of sounding curves

6.12.6 Equivalence in layer parameters

6.12.7 Poor resolution or suppression of a geoelectrical layer

6.12.8 Depth-wise transition in resistivity

6.12.9 Effect of top soil conductivity

7 The self potential method

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Basics

7.3 Instrument

7.4 Field procedures

7.5 Processing of data

7.6 Interpretation

7.7 Case studies on effect of well pumping on SP

7.7.1 Changes in SP after 24 hrs pumping

7.7.2 Changes in SP after 1 hr pumping

7.7.3 Groundwater flow through cavernous limestone

8 The mise-a-la-masse method

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Basics

8.3 Instrument

8.4 Field procedures

8.5 Processing of data

8.6 Interpretation

8.7 Case studies

9 The frequency domain electromagnetic method

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Basics

9.3 Instrument

9.4 Field procedures

9.5 Processing of data

9.6 Interpretation

9.7 Delineation of saturated fractured zones

9.7.1 Case study from metasediments

9.7.2 Case studies from granitic terrain

10 The very low frequency electromagnetic method

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Basics

10.3 Instrument

10.4 Field procedures

10.5 Processing of data

10.6 Interpretation

10.7 Case studies

10.7.1 Granitic terrain

10.7.2 Metasediments

10.7.3 Basic dyke and quartz reef

11 The time domain electromagnetic method

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Basics

11.3 Instrument

11.4 Field procedures

11.5 Processing of data

11.6 Interpretation

11.6.1 Equivalence in electromagnetic sounding

11.6.2 Detectability and depth of investigation

11.7 Delineation of fractured zones in hard rock

11.8 Airborne electromagnetic surveys

11.8.1 Airborne TEM survey for groundwater in hard rock

12 The borehole geophysical logging methods

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Spontaneous potential

12.3 Single point resistance

12.4 Resistivity

12.5 Electromagnetic induction

12.6 Fluid conductivity

12.7 Temperature

12.8 Natural gamma radioactivity

12.9 Gamma-gamma (density)

12.10 Neutron

12.11 Caliper

12.12 Flowmeter

12.13 Acoustic

12.14 Borehole televiewer

12.15 Borehole radar

12.16 Nuclear magnetic resonance

13 Integrated geophysical survey

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Mapping of lineaments from satellite imagery

13.3 Airborne geophysical surveys

13.4 Geological and borehole information

13.5 Selected surface geophysical methods and techniques for integration

13.5.1 Seismic surveys

13.5.2 Passive seismic

13.5.3 Ground penetrating radar

13.5.4 Nuclear magnetic resonance measurement

13.5.5 Radon gas measurement

13.6 Integration of electrical and electromagnetic methods

13.7 Procedure for integrated field surveys

13.8 Case studies

13.9 Research studies and field experiments

14 Geophysical methods in management of aquifer recharge & groundwater contamination study

14.1 Introduction

14.2 Managed aquifer recharge

14.2.1 Geophysical investigations Some managed aquifer recharge structures Unsaturated zone characterization and monitoring recharge conditions

14.3 Groundwater contamination study

14.3.1 Geophysical investigations Monitoring groundwater contamination

About the Author

Dr. Prabhat C. Chandra, a professional groundwater geophysicist, was born in Varanasi, India in 1950. He received B.Sc. and M.Sc degrees in Geology and Geophysics from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1970 and 1972 and was awarded the N.L. Sharma Gold Medal in Geology and first rank in Geophysics. Soon after, Dr. Chandra started his career as a groundwater geophysicist at the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad (NGRI) India and in 1978 joined the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Govt. of India. His doctoral thesis was on groundwater geophysics. He superannuated in December 2010 at the age of 60 as Director, CGWB.

During his 38 year professional career he has had ample opportunity to work on a variety of groundwater issues in almost all the hydrogeological terrains of India including hard rock, coastal tracts, limestone, basalts, alluvium, desert, islands and hilly tracts. In view of the scarcity of groundwater in hard rock he took up the challenging geophysical investigations of delineating fracture zones in hard rocks which cover two thirds of the country. There are several papers and reports to his credit.

He was trained in groundwater management through an Indo-British Fellowship from the UK. He attended World Water Week, Sweden and visited the Hydro Geophysics Group (HGG), Aarhus University, Denmark for presentations on groundwater geophysics. At Allahabad University, Central University, Patna and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, he taught hydrogeology and groundwater geophysics. After superannuation he worked as a consultant to The World Bank, New Delhi and as an expert to CSIR-NGRI along with experts from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and HGG, Aarhus University, Denmark for aquifer mapping in pilot projects through heliborne geophysical surveys and as advisor to WAPCOS Ltd. Govt. of India for aquifer mapping of the National Capital Region through surface and borehole geophysical surveys.

The book ‘Groundwater Geophysics in Hard Rock’ is based on his vast experience in delineating the fracture zones in hard rocks, subsurface characterization and locating high yielding well sites.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
SCIENCE / Geophysics